Thursday, February 12, 2009

Misplaced Outrage

The Henrietta Hughes case has sparked some predictable “outrage” from the right. Hughes, of course, is the woman who reached out to President Obama at his Ft. Myers town hall meeting with this compelling story:
"I have an urgent need, unemployment and homelessness, a very small vehicle for my family and I to live in," she said. "The housing authority has two years' waiting lists, and we need something more than the vehicle and the parks to go to. We need our own kitchen and our own bathroom. Please help."

Those who can’t believe someone like Henrietta Hughes can’t get into public housing should check out this “No Vacancy” sign I saw in front of the public housing development on Nashville’s 12th Avenue South this morning. Public housing, full up? No one could have predicted that (cue sarcasm).

In fact, the “compassionate conservatism” directed at Ms. Hughes and her family from the far right wing has been downright vicious. Nashville’s own blathering idiot Steve Gill called her a mooch and sniped:

As we suspected, Henrietta has a long history of living on the taxpayers dime. And her son was apparently so inept that he managed to get fired from a GOVERNMENT job. That's hard to do. And it appears that the pair have been in and out of government housing for far back as 1984?!?! It appears that they even had trouble during the CLINTON years!

Apparently it’s inconceivable to Gill that decades of “welfare reform” and Republican YOYO (You’re On Your Own) policies would fail to lift some people out of poverty. Apparently it’s impossible to believe that when you say you want to “cut government waste” and are in favor of “small government” that this actually means government workers are laid off.

Michelle Malkin is even more clueless:

Since one of our commenters doesn’t understand the point of publishing this information, here’s the point:

The White House and the press are holding up this woman and her son as symbols of how the economic downturn has rendered people homeless and jobless.

Mrs. Hughes and her son have been jobless and receiving government assistance since at least 2004.

Yes...? And your point is ...?

Over at the RiehlWorld we get this:

I have no idea why Henrietta Hughes may be homeless today. Unfortunate events happen to us all. My only point is, her troubles and need for public assistance seem to precede the current economic crisis and likely go back years.

Again, your point is ...?

Look, we aren't the ones who have been steeped in denial over the declining American economy for the past few years, telling people there is no recession, and that such talk is merely partisan negativity from the anti-American left suffering from "Bush Derangement Syndrome."

Poor dears, they think this all started in November. The idea that we've been fucked for years is all brand new to them. They forget John Edwards’ “two Americas” speech from 2004, which Hugh Hewitt derided thusly:

JOHN EDWARDS had one thing right: There are two Americas. But he botched the description of the line dividing these Americas--not surprising given that, after all these months and all that trial lawyer cash, he managed only to win the Democratic primary in South Carolina, which is like a Republican winning only the GOP primary in Washington, D.C.

The dividing line between Americans runs between those who are serious about the world and the nation and those who are silly on these subjects.

See, there was no economic divide in America. There was a divide between silly and serious. Now they are forced to criticize a homeless family for suffering economically for years. How could this happen when everyone knows things were going so well under George Bush!

The far right has been out of touch with mainstream America for years, because they willingly snacked on a steady diet of Bush Administration fairy dust, which made the world look all shiny-sparkly. These differing worldviews were exemplified in the 2004 campaign ads:

WASHINGTON — John Kerry is campaigning on the state of the economy. So is George W. Bush. But they sound as if they're running for the presidency on different planets.

In one of his Internet ads, Kerry's economy is a dusty road, empty except for tumbleweeds. "Bushville, USA," as it's labeled, is a place where jobs are vanishing, personal bankruptcies are up and median family income is falling. A banjo plunks as an unseen horse snorts. The mercury on a thermometer that measures the "misery index" rises so high that the glass shatters.

In one of his TV ads, Bush's economy is a bustling Main Street USA. A smiling butcher opens his shop, entrepreneurs shake hands on a deal made possible by tax cuts, and young women study at a computer and in a lab for the skills "to fill the new jobs of the 21st century." Orchestral music swells.

After eight years of denying that the Bush economy left millions of people behind, they are now outraged to learn that the Bush economy indeed left millions of people behind. And they still want to blame the victims.